The holidays can be a challenging time when it comes to staying committed to your natural bone-building goals. During this busy time of year, it’s important to be prepared with nutrient-rich foods that you can just grab while on-the-go.
So today we bring you three bone-healthy, pH-balanced easy-to-make recipes that are sure to please your palate and that you can simply pack in a bag and eat when you’re running errands.
All three contain one common ingredient: delicious dates. Since their time of discovery thousands of years ago, dates have been revered for their profound healing properties. And they contain several Foundation Supplements, including manganese, copper, magnesium, and more, plus they are alkalizing.
Dates In A Nutshell
Cultivated since approximately 6000 B.C., the history of dates goes so far back that its origins are unknown. It is suspected that the first dates were found in the lands around Iraq.1 Today there are over 1,500 different varieties of dates grown throughout the warmer climates of the world, twelve of which are grown in the United States, including the popular Medjool dates.
You may be surprised to learn that dates are a fresh fruit. Harvested from the date palm, these labor-intensive fruits are often picked by hand to protect their delicate nature. The dates are picked, cleaned, and packaged right away. They naturally shrivel and dry, but are not physically or chemically dried. As the date matures, its color changes from green to yellow or red when ripe, and eventually to brown.2
The date palm, the national symbol of Israel and Saudi Arabia, requires very high temperatures to grow. The tree, nicknamed the “tree of life,” yields an abundant amount of beautiful dates that ripen at different times. Their deep, richly sweet flavor combined with their chewy texture make them ideal for various recipes.
Dates: The Healing Fruit
Dates are truly a nutritional powerhouse, packed with phytonutrients and essential vitamins and minerals. An excellent source of energy, dates are known for their ability to revitalize the body.
There are numerous micronutrients found in dates, many of which are Foundation Supplements in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. They are rich in magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, Vitamin K, zinc, and B vitamins including B6 and folate. They also contain high levels of potassium. In fact, just four dates provide as much potassium as two whole bananas. Fruit is not the first thing that comes to mind when suffering from anemia, but dates are also packed with iron.
Believe it or not, dates are an excellent source of protein. They contain 23 different types amino acids, some of which are not present in the most popular fruits such as oranges, apples, and bananas.3
Dates contain high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, although there is a reduction in antioxidants as the dates age.
Even though dates contain a good amount of sugar by weight, studies have confirmed that this has no adverse effects on blood sugar or weight control.4 Further, the regular consumption of dates improved triglyceride levels and antioxidant stress levels.5
Dates have a low to medium glycemic index because they also contain high amounts of fiber. Fiber works to slow the release of carbohydrates, offering you sustained energy rather than a blood sugar spike. Therefore, dates are still an excellent sweetener choice.
There is an established body of science demonstrating the vast nutritional content of dates. It stands to reason, then, that there are many far-reaching health benefits of this delicious fruit, including:
- Improved digestive health, including reduction in constipation
- Protection of cardiac health
- Prevention and treatment of anemia
- Improved immunity
- Reduction of blood pressure
- Improved respiratory health
- Improved bone health
Three Bone-Healthy Grab-And-Go Snacks That Contain Dates
There are so many interesting ways to include dates in your everyday diet. From adding them to smoothies, tossing them in a salad, or pureeing them into a dip, dates are a versatile food that adds depth to whatever they are paired with.
Today we offer you three date recipes that can be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and grabbed while on-the-go.
Dazzling Date Mini-Wraps
- 2 1/2 cups of pitted dates, chopped
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 cups of almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- To make the dough, combine eggs, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the almond flour, baking soda, and salt until completely combined. Place covered bowl in the refrigerator to set until cool.
- In the meantime, bring the dates, orange juice, water, and vanilla to a slow boil. Cover and let simmer until the mixture just thickens, and set aside. Once cool, add to a food processor until it reaches a pasty consistency.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from refrigerator and spread it onto a sheet of parchment paper placed on top of a baking pan shaped into a rectangle.
- Spread a thick layer of date puree down the center. Gently fold both sides of the dough over until it covers the date puree.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, allowing it to cool before cutting and serving.
Almond Date Delight Snack Bars
- ¼ cup pitted dates, chopped
- ¼ cup raw walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup almonds
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond butter
- 2 tablespoons honey (adjust to taste)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- Generous pinch of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Line a square baking dish with parchment paper and coat it with coconut oil.
- Grind the nuts in a food processor or blender until fine. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of chocolate and coconut oil. In a bowl, mix until ingredients stick together and form a ball.
- Place the mixture into the baking dish, pressing down until the mixture is evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until firm, up to two hours.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a saucepan. Once melted, pour over the mixture. Refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.
- Cut bars into desired size and enjoy.
- 1½ cups walnuts
- 1½ cups almonds
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 chopped apple
- 1 tablespoon of honey, or to taste
- 1½ tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the apple bits, honey, coconut oil, and cinnamon together. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Using a food processor, grind nuts until fine. Add dates and pulsate until a dough is formed.
- Add apple mixture to dough, stirring slowly with a spoon until dough is moist. Do not allow mixture to get too wet.
- Put the mixture into a baking dish, pressing down until the mixture is evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until firm, up to two hours.
- Cut bars into desired size and enjoy.
More Grab-And-Go Snacks And Easy To Prepare Dishes!
The holidays are quickly approaching, and rest assured that there will be temptations and indulgences lingering around every corner. Thankfully, there are many ways to stay on track with your bone-healthy eating habits during this busy time. One such way is to stay satiated with easily accessible snacks, such as the ones above.
Bone Appétit, the Program’s companion recipe book, was designed to ensure that you never feel left out of the party. It contains more than 200 bone-smart recipes, including snacks. When you have easy access to nutrient-dense food, you are much less likely to be tempted by unhealthy choices.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
Till next time,
1 Tengberg, M. “Beginnings and early history of date palm garden cultivation in the Middle East.” Journal of Arid Environments. 2012. 86: 139–147.
2 Yahia EM, Ait-Oubahou A, Al Abid M. Dates (Phoenix dacyliferia L.). “Fruit and Vegetable Phytochemcals: Chemistry and Human Health.” 2nd edition. 2018.
3 Al-Shahib W, Marshall RJ. “The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?” Int. J. Food Sci. Nutr., 54 (4) (2003), pp. 247-259. Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09637480120091982
4 Alkaabi J, et al. “Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects.” Nutr J. 2011. 10(59). Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3112406/
5 Rock W, et. al. “Effects of date ( Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool or Hallawi Variety) consumption by healthy subjects on serum glucose and lipid levels and on serum oxidative status: a pilot study.” J Agric Food Chem.2009. 57(17). 8010-7. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19681613